United States of America is consisted of 50 states. And on these 50 states, are hundreds and thousands of coffee lovers. Spreading far and wide is the country’s caffeine fixation. You can smell the aroma of coffee brewing at almost every inch of the country, ranging from the simplest to the extravagant roasters, tasting rooms and coffee bars.
Coffee Caller come up with the USA’s 50 states must-try coffee shops. Let’s us all do a cross-country tour of the 50 states and visit the coffee shops or java joints you can try to visit when you are on that state.
50 Must-Try Coffee Shops
Alabama: Octane Coffee (2821 Central Ave., Homewood, AL; 205-969-1177)
Birmingham has a growing reputation on the national food scene, and this outpost of Octane that recently opened nearby fits right in. The mini-chain serves one thing that makes it stand apart from many of the other caffeine dispensers on this list: cocktails. Although the booze quotient is always nice, it’s the V60 pour-over coffee and French press brews that will really grab you attention. The roaster opened its first branch outside of Georgia after merging with local Primavera Coffee, and we predict more locations will soon be in the cards.
Alaska: Steam Dot (10950 O’Malley Centre, Suite E, Anchorage, AK; 907-344-4422)
Alaska may be better known for its bitter cold, dog sledding and elderly cruises than stellar cuisine – but they’re making a killer cup of coffee in Anchorage. The gastronomical techniques at SteamDot Coffee have been making headlines in the java world with their innovative “slow bar.” This counter features a siphon brewer, pour-over station and Chemex brewer for the ultimate cup – with not even a hint of bitterness. The decor is slightly modern, and you’re almost surprised that the barista’s not serving your Americano (the drink of choice here) in a lab coat.
Arizona: Macy’s (14 Beaver St. Flagstaff, Arizona; 928-774-2243)
Though it shares its name with a certain large, national chain, this tiny oasis tucked away in the neighborhood streets of Flagstaff hosts an unexpectedly unique, local experience. Macy’s sends its own coffee scout out to find scrumptious beans, which they purchase at above-fair-trade prices directly from the farmers. Their commitment to supporting a sustainable, local lifestyle extends beyond their carefully crafted coffee drinks and into their bevy of healthy foods. Award-winning vegan fare and home-style cookies the size of your head make perfect partners for the decadent, delicious bevies, thoughtfully prepared by the friendly staff.
Arkansas: Arsaga’s (548 W. Dickson St., Fayetteville, AR; 479-443-9900)
Arsaga’s is the place to go for coffee in Fayetteville. Located just off the square, this no-frills hot spot opened five new locations over the last 20 years. Their on-site roasting is key to a good brew (try the iced mocha on a hot afternoon), and they were doing the whole farm-to-table thing before it was all that.
California: Sightglass Coffee (270 Seventh St., San Francisco, CA; 415-861-1313)
Promising “complete transparency and traceability from the hand that picks the coffee cherry to the hand that serves the cup,” this sibling-owned San Francisco–based coffee company specializes in seasonally changing, small-batch beans, but still strives to be accessible and not too geeky. Instead of using annoying technical terms or overwhelming you with choices, the goal here is simple: to help you enjoy your coffee by telling you the story of what’s in your cup. One more thing? Co-owner Justin Morrison was part of our first-ever SF 30 under 30 list.
Colorado: Stella’s Coffeehaus (1476 S. Pearl St., Denver, CO; 303-777-1031)
Situated on the trendy Pearl Street in Denver, Stella’s has been a neighborhood staple for over two decades. Built inside an old house, the interior maintains the original structure, which makes it the perfect place to grab a table in one of their nooks and hunker down with your laptop or one of the many books lining the shelves. Snug and intimate, Stella’s brings students, residents and people involved in clandestine meetings together to sip giant mugs of freshly roasted Pablo’s coffee, and maybe nibble on a scone or cookie.
Connecticut: RJ Café & Bistro (768 Boston Post Rd., Madison, CT; 203-318-8008)
RJ Café & Bistro in Madison is where the coffee lover meets bookworm. This quaint cafe serves simple espresso drinks and killer cupcakes. Their Espresso Book Machine gives aspiring writers the opportunity to self-publish, though most use it as a chance to compile high-quality, bounded cookbooks of family recipes.
Delaware: Brew HaHa! (Multiple locations)
Each branch of this Delaware coffee chain is slightly different from the others, with a distinct look and vibe. But they all share great coffee (like the award-winning house “Nirvana” blend) and quality espresso crafted using top-of-the-line semi-automatic equipment. Sandwiches, salads, pastries, free WiFi and outdoor seating add to the appeal.
Florida: Eternity Coffee Roasters (117 SE Second Ave., Miami, FL; 305-350-7761)
This Miami-based coffee roaster and tasting room started as a dream in the coffee fields of Colombia over 60 years ago. Ernesto Garces, a coffee farmer, started planting trees there, and now U.S.-based consumers can see the seed-to-cup ethos that drives him on display in this shop. This artisanal roaster offers more than those Colombian brews – the staff conducts blind taste tests of single-origin beans to find the best the international scene has to offer. If you can’t make it to the tasting room in Downtown Miami, look for the single-origin offerings at restaurants throughout the area, or pick some up online.
Georgia: Land of a Thousand Hills (6640 Akers Mill Rd., Atlanta, GA; 770-955-0788)
Purchasing your java from Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee Company is about more than just getting a caffeine buzz: Jonathan Golden founded the company in 2005 to pay a fair wage to the farmers in Rwanda still reconciling from the 1994 genocides. There are now three cafes located in small-town Georgia, but the Akers Mill Road outpost is in an almost-secret location (you’ll need to be buzzed into an apartment complex) perched upon the Chattahoochee River.
Hawaii: Beach Bum Café (1088 Bishop St., Honolulu, HI; 808-521-6699)
Hawaii is known for its primo coffee beans, and Beach Bum Café in Downtown Honolulu only serves 100% Hawaiian coffee – in fact, they prefer to call themselves a microbrew since the coffee is roasted in small batches by hand, one cup at a time, for the freshest taste possible. Their beans come from the terroirs of each island, and though it’s not quite up there with wine tasting, it’s a damn smooth drink.
Idaho: Java on Sherman (324 Sherman Ave., Coeur d’Alene, ID; 208-667-0010)
Java on Sherman in Coeur D’Alene takes its coffee seriously. Mustachioed hipsters that could moonlight at a speakeasy concoct the hand-pulled, fair trade and certified organic drinks. The joint is known for their “Bowl of Soul,” and though they won’t divulge the ingredients, it’s a steaming mug of espresso with hints of chocolate, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whatever floats in this bowl is said to cure what ails ya – and it’s seriously delicious.
Illinois: Star Lounge (2521 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL; 773-384-7827)
Consider this the rock star of Chicago coffee, offering roasts with names like Unicorn Blood Espresso, Head Zeppelin and a Love Supreme. Its owners do not cut corners when it comes to traveling the world for the best beans, outfitting their roaster with precise equipment and combining years of experience to create unique roasts. Enjoy it in their Ukrainian Village bar/cafe, Star Lounge.
Indiana: Runcible Spoon (412 E. Sixth St., Bloomington, IN; 812-334-3997)
Since 1976, this quaint coffee shop and cafe (the name is a reference to a famous children’s story) in Bloomington has gone through several hands, and now it’s run by Matt O’Neill, a chef from Ireland. Even after all this time, it features the same warm welcome, and also the state’s first coffee roaster, which helps make it the best place to get a cup of joy in this collage town. Although food, beer and wine are now available, it’s still the great coffee and expert espresso drinks that shine brightest – there’s even a deadly mocha with chocolate ice cream that’s dubbed “Blind Dave’s Mocha” after a regular who came up with the idea.
Iowa: Java Joes Coffeehouse (214 Fourth St., Des Moines, IA; 515-288-5282)
Java Joes Coffeehouse in Downtown Des Moines has the kind of old-school coffeehouse vibe you don’t find so much anymore in this Starbucks-dominated era. Vintage, mismatched furniture, board games and live music will make you think you stumbled onto the set of Friends. This coffee is legit too – they roast their own beans daily and have a Coffee of the Month Club.
Kansas: The Java Break (17 E. Seventh St., Lawrence, KS; 785-749-5282)
Lawrence has no shortage of cool-kid coffee shops, but Java Break is unique thanks to the 24-hour coffee-flowing-though-your-veins service. The ultra-kitschy decor is loved by hipster college kids sticking Starbucks to the man, and their drinks, like the cult-ish Hazelnut Chi, are made from scratch without preservatives or corn syrup. Bonus: there’s a cereal bar with a slew of toppings.
Kentucky: Sunergos (2122 S. Preston St., Louisville, KY; 502-634-1243)
Though Kentucky is more known for its bourbon, a small Louisville-based chain is trying to put the state on the map for its coffee. Sunergos is the most serious java joint in town – they have three locations and wholesale the extra beans to shops throughout the area. The focus is on responsible sourcing, and the owners want it to feel like a “laboratory” where novices and experts alike can come to gather unique flavors. Tourists take note: if you spent a little too long the night before exploring the surrounding bourbon distilleries, a drop-by here in the morning will fix you right up.
Louisiana: Café Du Monde (800 Decatur St., New Orleans, LA; 504-525-4544)
As much a New Orleans destination as Bourbon Street, this French Quarter coffee shop has been a local institution since 1862. Its signature café au lait is blended with chicory – a Louisiana French specialty – and is best drunk along with the French-style beignets the shop is also famous for. As a bonus, it’s open 24 hours a day – in case you need a little pick-me-up at the end of a long night of Mardis Gras-style partying.
Maine: Mornings in Paris (13 Exchange St., Portland, ME; 207-761-5637)
Mornings in Paris is cuter than a French poodle wearing a beret, and the perfect respite for anyone with a sweet tooth. Located in Portland’s Old Port district, the cafe’s bevies, like Nutella lattes and crème brûlée cappuccinos, may seem a tad American (er, caloric), but who cares when they’re this good? The honey-lavender macarons are parfait for dipping.
Maryland: Daily Grind (1720 Thames St., Baltimore, MD; 410-558-0399)
Location, location, location. The historic Daily Grind is located on the waterfront of Baltimore’s Fell’s Point and filled with artsy locals, their perfectly groomed golden retrievers lining the cobblestone streets. Locals and tourists pour in for creamy lattes with heart-shaped pours of espresso, the Banana BOB sandwich and gratis WiFi.
Massachusetts: Thinking Cup (165 Tremont St., Boston, MA; 617-482-5555)
At this Downtown cafe in Beantown, they exclusively serve Stumptown, so you’re assured some of the best brews that the U.S. has to offer. A staff of knowledgeable baristas will be your tour guide through the beans of PDX. The homemade chocolate sauce will sweeten up that mocha, and fans of latte art will see some designs that are so pretty you’ll almost want to refrain from taking a sip – almost. The joint promises that they “treat their coffees like fine wines,” and you won’t want to miss out on the nuanced flavor experience. If you’re not feeling coffee, you can score some organic teas from Mem Imports.
Michigan: Commonwealth Cafe (300 Hamilton Row, Birmingham, MI; 248-792-9766)
A little piece of Brooklyn in Detroit, with stacks of magazines along the wall, mustached baristas and Mast Brothers chocolate, this rustic yet industrial space is perfect for grabbing a latte and a Mediterranean quiche or quinoa salad. Although the staff can be a little stiff, the coffee, sweets and eats certainly make up for it. Just be warned, they close early (4 PM!).
Minnesota: Angry Catfish Bicycle Shop + Coffee Bar (4208 28th Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN; 612-722-15)
A coffee bar and a bike shop? We say, “Together at last.” You can expect some of the best brew in the Twin Cities at this hybrid concept employing state-of-the-art espresso equipment and alternative brewing methods. Just don’t expect to order a skim, half-caff, semi-chai latte here.
Mississippi: Cups: An Espresso Cafe (101 W. Main St., Clinton, MS; 601-924-4952)
This hip Mississippi coffee chain was founded in Jackson in 1993 and has since expanded across the state. They roast their high-quality beans in-house and brew their own custom blends, which include flavors like Snickerdoodle, White Russian and Southern Pecan.
Missouri: The Coffee Ethic (124 Park Central Square, Springfield, MO; 417-866-6645)
This joe joint in Springfield’s quaint downtown square focuses on serving up single-origin coffee, prepared one cup at a time. The whole ‘ethical’ biz in the name is not a bunch of BS either – their coffee comes from PT’s Coffee Roasters, chocolate-based bevies are made with Askinosie Chocolate (a Springfield company that’s risen to national cult fame), and the shop’s repurposed wood tables and benches are recycled from trees that were devastated in the Ozarks’ 2007 ice storm.
Montana: Think Local (140 Main St., Kalispell, MT; 406-260-4499)
Think Local in Downtown Kalispell is an art and coffee shop that’s dedicated to highlighting local artisans in the Flathead Valley region. 3 Local Gals Coffee (the espresso bar tucked inside) serves up Fieldhead’s Coffee and confectionery treats to enjoy while perusing homemade jams and handcrafted wax candles.
Nebraska: The Mill (800 P St., Lincoln, NE; 402-475-5522)
Remember the day before perky baristas pimped iced lattes? Yeah, we don’t either, but the guys who started the Mill Coffee & Tea in Lincoln certainly do. When Starbucks still considered Nebraska a flyover state, three boys working at a bike shop decided that coffee could actually taste better, and in 1975 their business was born. Locals love hanging out in the comfortable digs with an enclosed outdoor patio while drinking the famous white heat and spiced chi drink concoctions.
Nevada: Hub Coffee Roasters (32 Cheney St., Reno, NV; 775-323-3482)
Reno is not all Circus Circus and buffet-grazing divorcees. Hub Coffee Roasters has brought a touch of class to “The Biggest Little City in the World.” The garagelike space is small and often packed, but there’s a patio where you can enjoy the expertly made beverages. You won’t get fancy syrups, icy smoothies or crazy venti concoctions here. What you will receive is great service, a proper milk-to-espresso ratio in your cappuccino and foam art. Foam art is everything.
New Hampshire: Caffe KiLiM (163 Islington St., Portsmouth, NH; 603-436-7330)
The Dancing Goats coffee at Caffe KiLiM and Kilim Market has become a favorite among locals in New Hampshire’s Portsmouth seacoast. The cafe, which serves only fair trade coffees and espresso drinks made with natural syrups, has a vibe that’s part exotic Euro coffee bar, part cozy coffeehouse, which makes sense because owners Yalchin and Janice hail from Istanbul and Seattle, respectively – a marriage made in java heaven.
New Jersey: Rojo’s Roastery (243 N. Union St., Lambertville, NJ; 609-397-0040)
A true coffee nerd’s paradise, this funky shop in Lambertville buys only the finest specialty arabica beans from around the world (usually from small-volume growers), which they roast in a circa-1956 gas-fired roaster, then brew to order using your choice of device – Chemex, Hario, CONA vacuum, Turkish, Clover, French press or Aeropress. The result? A cup that’s as complex in taste and aroma as a glass of wine. (FYI, the shop will open its second branch in Princeton this spring – let’s hope this means more expansion is on the horizon!)
New Mexico: Downtown Subscription (376 Garcia St., Santa Fe, NM; 505-983-3085)
Hole up with a newspaper or magazine at this popular Santa Fe coffee shop, which also doubles as an international newsstand. All sorts of hot and cold drinks, including lattes with foam art and Mexican hot chocolate, are available to sip as you read, and poetry readings are held every Wednesday evening.
New York: Cafe Grumpy (Multiple locations)
This NYC mini-chain was famous long before Lena Dunham took up residence behind the counter on Girls. The cafe is known for its wide variety of offerings, and for the baristas who would verge on self-parody if they weren’t so knowledgeable about the beans (and friendly – it’s unlikely that you’ll get any snobby scowls from this crew). The hipsters walking out of these venues treat the emoticonlike logo as a badge of quality. It’s no wonder that the HBO star picked this brand to feature on her show: Grumpy defines the quintessential NYC coffee experience.
North Carolina: Firestorm Cafe & Books (48 Commerce St., Ashville, NC; 828-255-8115)
Taking on the concept of being worker owned, this activist-heavy coffee shop in Ashville has successfully been caffeinating the small town since 2008. They serve organic, fair trade coffee, Eco Prima tea and fun espresso drinks like a coconut-cream breve made with coconut milk and a maple latte with pure maple syrup. Plus, they offer plenty of fresh-baked goods, bagels with the works, soups, salads and wraps, many of which are vegan. Naturally, like any good independent shop, they also host film screenings, fund-raisers, book readings, workshops and other events.
North Dakota: Red Raven Espresso Parlor (916 Main Ave., Fargo, ND; 701-478-7337)
Opened in what used to be a firehouse dating from 1910, this coffee shop maintains itself as a worker-owned-and-operated space, meaning the boss is always serving you. Overall, this is a good thing given that they want you to come back and therefore strive to give customers quality service and products. Aside from coffee drinks and tea, this Fargo-based shop also offers a few vegetarian sandwich options, including barbecued mock duck and one with artichoke and hummus. Also, in true artsy coffee-shop fashion, they host live music events and have plenty of mismatched couches to lounge around on.
Ohio: Donkey Coffee & Espresso (17 W. Washington St., Athens, OH; 740-594-7353)
This little coffee shop has a big heart – it serves only fair trade coffee, supports social justice organizations like American Red Cross, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Amnesty International, and is an official “Safe Place” site in Athens (meaning that young people in distress can receive appropriate emergency services at the shop). It also serves as a gallery for local artists and a live music venue for local bands and musicians.
Oklahoma: Elemental Coffee (815 N. Hudson Ave., Oklahoma City, OK; 405-633-1703)
The specialty of this Oklahoma City coffee shop is espresso, and they serve a full menu of drinks surrounding this wonderful beverage. For one, their mocha, which gets the benefit of single origin espresso from Ethiopia as well as house made chocolate sauce, which uses Askinosie’s singe-origin cocoa powder. Aside from espresso, they offer a rotating menu of brewed coffee that they make in various ways, including French press, siphon and pour-over. For food, Elemental Coffee sources local goods from Big Sky Bread, Wagon Creek Creamery and Briarberry Farms, plus on Sundays, they make fresh crêpes.
Oregon: Public Domain (603 SW Broadway, Portland, OR; 503-243-6374)
Located on a prime Downtown corner, this PDX coffee shop turns out one of the finest cappuccinos in town, and no wonder: it’s home to a coveted $18,000 Slayer espresso machine. The spot’s wood-paneled decor is much sparer than the baristas’ tattooed arms, the better to focus on the single-origin coffee and people-watching out the large windows. If you’re peckish, don’t miss the sesame pretzel croissant, a genius mash-up that tastes exactly as it sounds.
Pennsylvania: Elixr (207 S. Sydenham St., Philadelphia, PA; 239-404-1730)
Gorgeous, multihued planks of rough-hewn and polished wood cover the walls and floor of this Center City cafe, serving as a worthy backdrop to an ambitious coffee program. Each week, four different coffees are selected to be served as hand-poured Chemex brews, all sourced using a direct-trade model that gives farmers a premium over fair trade prices. Each is prepared with its own dose, grind and water temperature for an optimum cup. Espressos drinks are just as well executed, pulled using individually adjustable handles on a state-of-the-art Synesso Hydra.
Rhode Island: Coffee Grinder (33 Bannisters Wharf, Newport, RI; 401-847-9307)
Stop by this darling coffee shop right by the water in Newport, and not only might you be greeted by owner Alyssa Cerceo but also her chocolate Labradors. Go for a cup of coffee brewed with a custom blend from the artisanal Armeno Coffee Roasters, or indulge in a shot of espresso made with beans from Italian roaster Bristot. The cozy digs are great for chilly weather, but for nicer days, they have Adirondack chairs on their deck, perfect for watching boats go by or just meditating with a glass of tea and the sound of water lapping nearby.
South Carolina: Drip Coffee (729 Saluda Ave., Columbia, SC; 803-661-9545)
Located in Columbia, this rustic coffee shop has been slinging cups of joe to residents since 2011. Aside from coffee, Drip gets notoriety for its inexpensive and tasty breakfast menu, which includes egg with truffle oil and Parmesan on a house-made biscuit; cinnamon raisin bread topped with mascarpone, walnuts and fig jam; and their homemade granola. People took so well to the Columbia location, the owners decided to open another shop nearby, which proves equally charming.
South Dakota: Coffea Roasterie (2318 S. Louise Ave., Sioux Falls, SD; 605-362-9955)
The motto of this roomy Sioux Falls cafe is “coffee without compromise,” and since they work to bring the best green coffee they can find into their small operation, personally roasting all of their beans, it sounds like a good mantra. Inside its digs, the wood is dark, the lighting warm and golden, and the aroma heady with rich coffee. Though their bean selection rotates, the last time we checked in they were offering a chocolaty Amaro Gayo Natural from Ethiopia, and a floral and fruity Los Congo Pacamara from Nicaragua. In the end, it’s not a bad place to sit back with a cup of joy and fantasize about the warm countries the beans came from.
Tennessee: Barista Parlor (519B Gallatin Ave., Nashville, TN; 615-712-9766)
The industrial design at this East Nashville coffeehouse keeps things simple, which is the way it should be since your focus should be on the coffee, not the decor. They serve roasts from all the big boys – just take a gander at this list from their website: “Stumptown, Coava Coffee, Counter Culture, Madcap, Sightglass, Intelligentsia, and Handsome Coffee Roasters.” This coffeehouse offer and other things for example sausage biscuits for breakfast and Mast Brothers chocolate for a sweet snack. Its no wonder that many Music City connoisseurs consider this to be the best java joint in town.
Texas: Jo’s (1300 S. Congress Ave., Austin, TX; 512-444-3800)
Located in the heart of South Congress, this coffee shop is worth a look for the people-watching alone. (Oh, and the coffee’s pretty good too!) Order your drink or sandwich and then grab one of the many seats in the outdoor seating space while you check out the various tattooed human beings and their dogs walking by. Better yet, strike up a conversation with the founder of the newest start-up in town, who might just be sitting next to you. And don’t forget to snag a picture by the “I love you so much” graffiti on your way out.
Utah: Caffe d’Bolla (249 E. 400 S #B, Salt Lake City, UT; 801-355-1398)
At this Salt Lake City cafe, they source coffees from all over the world and micro-roast them in house. You can find all sorts of uncommon beans, including Kenya Nyeri AB Gatomboya, Nicaragua Finca Maria and Panama Volcancito. In case you want to learn more about these special blends, they also offer $20 “Coffee 101″ classes each month. Not only do they do coffee right, but they also have a stellar tea program, traveling to Asia yearly to purchase some of their teas right from the growers.249 E. 400 S #B, Salt Lake City, UT; 801-355-1398
Vermont: Mocha Joe’s (82 Main St., Brattleboro, VT; 802-257-7794)
For those looking for a dynamite cuppa joe with a conscience, Brattleboro is the place. Mocha Joe’s is a specialty roasting company with every kind of fair trade, farmer-direct trade, fairest coffee-of-them-all trade you can imagine, ready for the tasting and buying at their brick cafe on Main Street. It offers an earthy, hole-in-the-wall vibe, but don’t be fooled, because locals line up the steps out the door for their beans. There are a few tables near the windows up for grabs – and grab them you must! There’s always a spread of homemade baked goods to pair with your caffeine of the day. Also, did we mention their logo? Who wouldn’t want to drink coffee from a man in a fedora? The coffee here is as bad-ass as him.82 Main St., Brattleboro, VT; 802-257-7794
Virginia: Buzz (901 Slaters Ln., Alexandria, VA; 703-600-2899)
While the goodies from pastry chef Tiffany MacIsaac create a lot of the buzz at this bakery and coffee shop in Alexandria, the coffee selection is just as sweet as the confections. The beans are from MadCap Coffee, and you’re unlikely to find a staff that’s more skilled at latte art anywhere in the region. Both shops (there’s also one in Ballston) offer a casual vibe, free WiFi and occasional talks and music – if you’re looking to chill without getting rushed out as soon as you’re finished with your cup, you’ll feel right at home here.
Washington, DC: Peregrine Espresso (1718 Fourth St. NW, Washington, DC; 202-525-512 / 660 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Washington, DC; 202-629-4381)
Tasteful modern design and impressive foam art make this coffee-bar trio, located on Capitol Hill and in hot new Union Market, worth going out your way for. Their baristas prove their mettle in competition, as well as turning out pitch-perfect espressos and pour-overs on a daily basis. The fresh pastries come from popular BUZZ Bakery. What’s more, true to a name that means “roving,” a pedal delivery service will bring their roasted Counter Culture coffee beans to your door by bicycle.
Washington State: Bauhaus Coffee & Books (301 E. Pine St., Seattle, WA; 206-625-1600)
While Seattle’s most famous coffee import is Starbucks, the Pacific Northwest has long been a serious coffee region. Bauhaus Books and Coffee has been a hub for Capitol Hill residents since it opened in 1993. High ceilings, picture glass windows, walls of bookshelves and a cool library vibe have fed Seattle’s alt-culture appetite for single and double shots of caffeine for two decades. Rumor has it that this classic Seattle coffeehouse is not much longer for the world – in fact, the whole block is slated for development in spite of neighborhood uproar. The current compromise on the table is that the facade of the building will remain, while a new building springs up and behind.
West Virginia: Moxxee (301 Morris St., Charleston, WV; 304-807-9338)
The owners this coffee shop started building it six years ago, but they didn’t open until 2011. The entire shop contains no wood and consists of handcrafted stainless steel and copper by metal artist Mark Nicoll, which extends to the coffee bar, tables, stools and window bars. “The idea was to build a shop that anyone coming in the door would know immediately that they will get something more here, than in the coffee shops they had tried previously,” says one of the owners. As far as coffee goes, they offer award-winning Cup of Excellence brews from around the world, each done pour-over style or brewed in the Clover machine. They also make sure the farmers get paid well for their product and take great pride in what they are doing.
Wisconsin: Colectivo Coffee (Multiple locations)
This coffee shop and roasting plant opened in Milwaukee in 1994, after the owners, three friends with a hankering for good joe, decided their city needed quality coffee. It helps that they also strove to make sure their beans had a level of sustainability and were fairly gained from growers; plus, many of their blends are Rainforest Alliance certified and organic. Now, Colectivo has expanded its operation to over a dozen cafes, each serving the freshly roasted, high-quality coffees that made them popular to begin with.
Wyoming: Elevated Grounds Coffeehouse (3445 Pines Way, Wilson, WY; 307-734-1343)
This quaint coffee shop opened in 2008 in what used to be a Starbucks. Husband-and-wife team Zach Lloyd and Stacey Cash took over the space and re-dubbed it Elevated Grounds, as a nod to the quality of their organic coffee beans. However, while coffee obviously remains the basis of the shop, the people are what really makes the place special. “We are supported overwhelmingly by the local community,” says Cash, “and the generosity that catalyzed our opening has continued to be the primary source for continuation and growth.” As Cash dreams of their future, regulars stop by, grab a drink and fantasize about their own.